Friday, July 31, 2009

U.S. briefs Israel on new Iran nuke sanctions

Barak Ravid in Haaretz, here
"... U.S. National Security Advisor James Jones, who is now in Israel to discuss Iran's nuclear program, indicated that Tehran has until the UN General Assembly in the last week of September to respond. U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates delivered a similar message during his visit here earlier this week. If no satisfactory answer is received, the Americans said, they would work to form an international coalition to impose harsh sanctions on Iran. 
A senior source in Jerusalem said the American message to Israel in these talks was to "lower its profile" and refrain from "ranting and raving" about Iran in public until the international evaluation on Iran takes place at the end of September. "Until that date, we must give diplomacy a chance," the official said
New sanctions would mainly aim to significantly curb Tehran's ability to import refined petroleum products. Despite its huge crude oil reserves, Iran has only limited refining capacity, so it imports large quantities of refined products such as gasoline. 
Jones and his team reported that a bill by Senator Joe Lieberman to curb sales of refined oil products to Iran is almost complete, and 67 senators have already signed it. 
The Americans are proposing financial sanctions such as banning insurance on trade deals with Tehran, which would make it difficult for Iran to trade with other countries. They also want to impose sanctions on any company that trades with Iran and use this to pressure other countries, mainly in Asia, to resist making deals with Iran. 
In the next stage, the Americans will consider even harsher sanctions, such as banning Iranian ships from docking in Western ports and, as a next step, banning Iranian airplanes from landing in Western airports. ......
Jones and his team presented the ideas that the administration is forging, together with France, Britain and Germany, on imposing additional sanctions on Iran via the UN Security Council if the dialogue fails. The Americans are also discussing this issue with Russia, which at this stage objects to further sanctions. 
China, which has numerous interests in Iran, also objects to further sanctions. Jones told the Israelis that Obama will therefore go to China soon to try to enlist Beijing to join the coalition."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like these sanctions are in fact a siege. Banning refined oil products alone is a direct assault on its weak economy.

Obama will need all his smooth talk to convince China to do that last year Iran doubled the amount of energy it sends to China.

Also as this blog posted yesterday, Iran is in no position to make any major foreign policy decisions in the next 2 months, due to the rift from the elections.

And of course there is plenty of evidence that the United States had a hand in fanning the flames of that.

And here I was thinking that with a wiser US President the world would get a bit better. Seems to be they just have a more dangerous opponent.